Department of Linguistics University of Kansas 423 Blake Hall 1542 Lilac Way Lawrence, KS, 66045
johnglu AT KU DOT e d u
I am an assistant professor of linguistics at the University of Kansas. My research explores syntax, semantics, and morphology, and their interfaces. I use fieldwork on understudied languages and experimental methods to inform our theoretical model.
I am generally interested in the interaction between intensionality and movement in the domain of syntax. In particular, I am investigating the idea that certain intervention effects can be modeled as a constraint on chains imposed by intensionality. The details are worked out in my dissertation (in prep), but a simpler analysis can be found in the draft here.
The work has also lead me to propose a comprehensive syntax and semantics for the tough-construction. I make two core contributions here. One is to identify the importance of judge-dependence in the analysis of tough-predicates. This aspect is explored in the intervention effects discussed above. The other contribution is that I identify the importance of events in the meaning of both tough-predicates and for-CPs. I propose a generalized theory of clausal complementation extending ideas from Kratzer's (2006)/Moulton (2009) concerning finite clausal complements, as well as Hacquard (2006) concerning events. A draft of the analysis can be found here.
One consequence of the above work is an analysis of the Take-Time Construction, e.g., It took John an hour to read this book. This is, to my knowledge, the first in-depth study the Take-Time Construction. A draft of the analysis can be found here. (Comments welcome.)
Evidentiality, modality, and modal typologies
With Margit Bowler I'm examining modal and evidential interpretations in Llogoori (Luhya, Bantu). In general, we are concerned with how modality is expressed in Llogoori, and how this fits into the general typological picture. See our talk at ACAL 48 with Maurice Sifuna, Kelvin Alulu, and Mike Diercks here.
Margit and I have also explored the meaning of the difference expletive agreement subject markers in Llogoori, which appear to contribute evidentiality, speaker certainty, emotion affectedness, and in some cases modality force, depending on the verb they combine with. The idea is worked out in our SALT paper here, where we adopt ideas from Matthewson, Rullmann, and Davis. This is on-going work. We are exploring the use of the expletives in other Luhya languages, as well as investigating the syntax of expletive agreement — in addition to the modal elements in Luhya generally.
I've investigated valency alternation strategies in a number of contexts and languages. In K'iche' (Mayan) and Kashaya (Pomo), I've documented and analyzed “non-canonical“ uses of causative morphemes. I argue in both languages that the so-called the causative morpheme is best analyzed as simply an applied argument, disassociated from a causative semantics. Both projects are based on original fieldwork. A handout detailing the Kashaya facts can be found here, and a paper detailing the K'iche' facts can be viewed here .
Looking at Llogoori (Luhya, Bantu), with Margit Bowler, I've also documented another well-studied valency alternation in Bantu languages: the transitivity reducer -ek. We argue that it patterns as a marker of anticausativity in this talk we presented at ACAL 46 in Eugene, OR, and our subsequent paper .
Finally, I've also recently worked out an analysis of the so-called reciprocal marker -an in Llogoori (Luhya, Bantu). I observe that it functions as both the marker of reciprocity, as well as a marker of a plural cumulative event for intransitive verbs. I propose an analysis that unites these two meanings here [DRAFT]. Essentially, the account takes the core meaning of -an to be an event pluralizer, and the reciprocal semantics to come from the plural subject (adopting a long line of research). (Comments very welcome.)
In on-going work with Margit Bowler, we're looking at ideophones in Llogoori (Luhya, Bantu). Our main claim in our recent talk at AAA here is that the elements we identify in Llogoori are true ideophones, despite not being “depictive.” We treat them as simple degree intensifiers.
My MA thesis proposed an analysis of phi-features which incorporated morphological and semantics theories of number. I looked at “unusual” instances of agreement where plural number morphology appears on a verb in the presence of two singular arguments. I argue that this provides insight into how number is represented morphological. I propose that there are no number features per se, rather morphological number is represented in atomic units, like semantic number. A largely re-worked draft of my thesis can be found here.